DownHomeDigital AV receivers Marantz vs Denon Receivers Comparison

Marantz vs Denon Receivers Comparison

Every music fan has come across a Denon and Marantz receiver at least once. These are two popular brands that are known not only to a narrow circle of professionals but also to many people who at least once thought about upgrading their home theater. And I can point out that there are some similarities and, of course, differences between them. I’ll help you understand the intricacies of Marantz vs Denon. So, I have selected the most interesting receivers of the two brands in different price segments, from entry-level to premium models, and I will compare them. From this article, you will learn the features of these models, their strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, you will be able to determine which model is more suitable for you.

You can also check my choice of the best AV receiver.

Marantz company history and overview

Marantz is an American-Japanese manufacturer specializing in Hi-Fi and home theater equipment. The company’s beginnings go back to 1951. For several decades, Marantz has been synonymous with exceptional sound quality for discerning home cineastes and sound aesthetes.

And for many years now, Marantz has been holding the bar high. Marantz receivers are renowned for their reliability, they are straightforward to connect and use, and most models offer a wide range of functions. These devices are the embodiment of the dreams of many moviegoers, both for quality and for a fair price policy.

Denon company history and overview

In the world of Hi-Fi and home theater systems, Denon is one of the largest manufacturers, and as well as Marantz is known for its high quality.

From the beginning of its history, from 1910, the company focused on audiovisual products: the first vinyl recorder, the first stereos for the Japanese market, and the first PCM recorder were some of its greatest achievements. And since then, the company has been trying to keep up with all the modern trends.

Even if the equipment of the American company is traditionally considered slightly expensive, many buyers who do not want to compromise on their purchase are happy to choose Denon. These products have been proven for decades and have many fans worldwide.

D+M Group and Sound United

In 2002, Denon merged with the Japanese company Marantz, which as you already know also specializes in the production of electronics in the Hi-Fi and Hi-End categories. Later, in 2017, Sound United merged the world-famous brands Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Boom, D+M into one company focused only on the audio industry. According to the head of the company, Kevin Duffy, the acquisition of D+M will help Sound United grow globally. In addition, a decent catalog of products and technologies will allow you to enter a new market segment.

In addition, the combination of D+M Group’s extensive AV receiver technology and its solid market share, with Sound United’s leadership in the consumer audio market, will improve the position of all brands to move forward successfully.

top Marantz Receiver

The main differences between Marantz and Denon receivers

Home theater receivers are becoming more efficient and better equipped. However, the development of new technologies is rare. Therefore, there are strong similarities between products and even between brands. And it’s getting harder and harder to choose Marantz or Denon.

However, there are still differences even between such closely related brands as Denon and Marantz. Denon receivers have a warm sound with pronounced effects, while Marantz receivers play softer. This also applies to each receiver separately. The bass from the Denon is more dynamic and powerful than the balanced bass from the Marantz. Highs also feel different. Denon has it brightly. Marantz has it with little detail.

And as you can see, Marantz receivers are more focused on working with music systems. In contrast, Denon receivers are more concentrated on home theaters, where it is essential to accentuate every effect and deliver a more immersive experience.

How I tested receivers by Marantz and Denon

I approach testing receivers in a comprehensive manner – I compare receivers in the musical capabilities and the capabilities of the receiver as a home theater system.

For the surround sound appraisal, I chose Mad Max: Fury Road. However, to assess the musical capabilities, I picked up a whole list of compositions.

  • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – Deezer
  • Radiohead – The National Anthem – Spotify
  • Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know – SoundCloud
  • The Weeknd – The Hills (CD player)
  • Radiohead – The National Anthem(CD player)
  • Mahler – Symphony No.2 (CD player)
  • James Brown – Living In America (CD player)
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (CD player)

For all av receiver comparisons stages, I selected the following equipment:

  • CD player SACD 30n
  • Blu-ray player Sony UBP-X700
  • Speaker wire – AudioQuest Type-9
  • Speakers for movie – Klipsch RP-8060FA
  • Stereo speakers:
    • Klipsch RP-8060FA
    • KEF Q350

Mid-price Marantz and Denon Receivers Comparison

Marantz SR6015 vs Denon AVR-X3700H

Marantz SR6015 vs Denon AVR-X3700H comparison

First, I recommend you look at the Denon vs Marantz receivers comparison of two very similar models – S6015 and AVR-X3700H. This is the medium price segment, which is most popular with most users.

These two receivers are pretty similar in terms of audio processing. Both have nine power amplifiers and 11.2-processing. However, in terms of the power supplied to the channel, there are differences: 110W/8 Ohm and 150W/6 Ohm for the Marantz SR6015 versus the inferior characteristics of the Denon AVR-X3700H – 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm. I would not say these are great differences, so there is equality in terms of power.

Marantz SR6015 photo

In terms of video capabilities, both receivers support 8K video for high-resolution content. According to the HDCP 2.1 protection, the new HDMI interface makes it possible to process 8K or optionally 4K with 120 frames per second. They also support the most critical HDR image formats with Dolby Vision. And here I find that the Marantz SR6015 has something to its competitor: an opportunity to upscale the analog video stream – 480i/576i up to 8K 60/50.

In the movie test, the Marantz SR6015 showed itself surprisingly well enough. I confidently can say that it combines fine signal processing and precise room measurement with sovereign power delivery. Marantz claims to offer its home theater receivers, especially musical sound, but here, it exceeded even my expectations. The SR6015 was at its high point when listening to music, but I didn’t expect anything different.

Denon AVR-X3700H photo

In contrast, the Denon AVR-X3700H has excellent video processing. The effects seem to patter directly from the ceiling and walls of the cinema room, and the noise of the motors pushes into the room. In addition, the dialogues are always clearly understandable and ideally located. It’s an awesome experience!

Both models have a full range of wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HEOS, and support streaming services.

Based on the testing results, I can conclude that the Marantz SR6015 and Denon AVR-X3700H are the top representatives of the medium price segment receivers. However, there is an explicit specialization of the devices. For example, Denon – home theater and surround effects, but when it comes to music, Marantz was a head-turner over its rival.

Marantz SR6015 Denon AVR-X3700H
Channels 9.2 9.2
Power output 110W/8 Ohm, 150W/6 Ohm 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 7/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 7/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Marantz SR6015 pros & cons

  • Auro 3D available.
  • Powerful amplifier unit.
  • The receiver gets very hot during operation.

Denon AVC-X3700H pros & cons

  • Correct positioning of effects
  • Deep and powerful bass
  • Auro 3D is not available

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Marantz SR7015

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Marantz SR7015 comparison

Next on the test, I have a pair of Denon AVR-X4700H vs Marantz SR7015. Again, both manufacturers have done an excellent job on the audio component of the receivers – 11.1-channel support, including two rear channels with 125W/8 Ohm and 165W/6 Ohm. This can be done either in a 7.1.2 configuration or using the two pre-outs and an external stereo power amplifier in 7.1.4 mode.

The video path is also similar: support for 8K 60Hz or 4K 120Hz, but only on one input and two outputs. All other inputs process signals by the HDMI 2.0. And in all these ports, the scaling function is 480i/576i up to 8K 60/50. Besides Dolby Vision and HLG, Marantz also understands HDR10 + and the new HDR.

Denon AVR-X4700H photo

And it turns out that the receivers are very similar, but I’ll tell you, don’t rush to think so. To compare Marantz and Denon sound quality, everything falls into place – the AVR-X4700H sounds powerful and restrained, flexible, but not without bright details. However, Marantz showed the opposite results, but still a good sound performance. The SR7015 had a pretty thin bass, but the songs sounded very clean and detailed.

When watching a movie in 5.1.4 mode, I was surrounded by spatial and realistic sound, so I felt right in the film. Each effect just burst into the room with powerful, rich bass. And any object I could track thanks to the precise positioning of objects in Dolby Atmos perfectly.

Marantz SR7015 photo

With the same configuration, Marantz failed to deliver such impressive results. Although I also liked its sound. The effects sounded tangible and three-dimensional. Space was perceived as solid and realistic. However, I did not hear a powerful and dense bass. Of course, it is possible to use the app to adjust or increase the subwoofer level, but this does not have the desired effect.

These two very similar devices are aimed at a mass audience, and their functionality will be enough for 99% of users. This is an excellent investment if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range device in this price range.

Marantz SR7015 Denon AVR-X4700H
Channels 9.2 9.2
Power output 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Denon AVR-X4700H pros & cons

  • Up-scaling up to 8K.
  • Good surround sound.
  • The strong preponderance of musical sound towards low frequencies.

Marantz SR7015 pros & cons

  • The ability to control the receiver using the app.
  • Powerful amplifier section.
  • The equalizer is not effective.

Premium Marantz and Denon Receivers Comparison

Marantz SR8015 vs Denon AVR-X6700H

Marantz SR8015 vs Denon AVR-X6700H comparison

It’s time for the Marantz versus Denon flagship devices comparison. And right away, I will point out to you the fundamental difference between these models. Marantz SR8015 11.2 channel amplifier unit, Denon AVR-X6700H, is built around a 13.2 channel amplifier. However, both receivers can handle up to 140W/8 Ohm or 175W/6 Ohm.

Marantz SR8015 photo

The crown jewel of the AVR-X6700H is the video path, which is fully 8K compatible. This support includes support for 8K / 60Hz and 4K / 120Hz. All relevant HDR formats are supported, of course, including HDR10 +, HLG, and Dolby Vision. A similar situation is with the competing Marantz SR8015.

At the beginning of the test, the 6700H showed me an excellent reproduction of the film’s entire soundscape. The dialogues in the foreground were displayed clearly and in detail, as were the voices in the background. Thus, the AVR-X6700H can accurately differentiate parallel acoustic events on the one hand while at the same time producing a uniform overall sound image.

Denon AVR-X6700H photo

The Marantz SR8015 also showed excellent dynamics when watching a movie. It delivered faithfully effects, exactly where they should be. Background music is played tightly, powerfully, and clearly in the high-frequency range. This balanced receiver presents voices quite clearly. However, I can say that the low frequencies do not have enough power.

In terms of music processing, the SR8015 does a little better. It reproduces songs, incredibly dense and multifaceted. The same cannot be said for Denon. The overall reproduction quality remains relatively high, but there is a lack of frequency differentiation. But I was incredibly impressed with how well the AV amplifier worked its voices.

The test showed that the Denon AVR-X6700H has a bias towards surround sound and home theater applications. Equipped with the latest technology, the AVR-X6700H will delight home theater owners for years to come. The Marantz SR8015 was created for the true audiophile and perfectly copes with the reproduction of even the highest quality songs.

Marantz SR8015 Denon AVR-X6700H
Channels 11.2 11.2
Multichannel pre out 13.2 11.2
Power output 140W/8 Ohm, 175W/6 Ohm 140W/8 Ohm, 175W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Marantz SR8015 pros & cons

  • Managed channels can be configured flexibly.
  • Easy to set up the system.
  • Only one HDMI 2.1 port.

Denon AVR-X6700H pros & cons

  • Immersive, spatially dense sound.
  • Easy commissioning thanks to the setup wizard.
  • The Heos module is incompatible with MQA.
  • Outdated remote control.

Budget Marantz and Denon Receivers Comparison

Denon AVR-S650H vs Marantz NR1510

Denon AVR-S650H vs Marantz NR1510 comparison

Next, let’s compare 5.1 channel receivers – Denon AVR-S650H vs Marantz NR1510. The Denon AVR-S650H is the model with a power of 75W/8 Ohm or 100W/6 Ohm and dual subwoofer outputs, outperforming the competitor in this comparison with its 50W/8 Ohm, 60W/6 Ohm output.

Moreover, the AVR-S650H has five HDMI inputs and one output. All of them are 4K and HDCP 2.2, but the NR1510 has the same video path configuration but with HDCP 2.3 protection. Three pairs of analog and phono and two digital optical represented the rest of the audio inputs. In addition, there is an FM tuner, an Ethernet jack, and two antennas dedicated to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Denon AVR-S650H photo

I also want to point out that among the two, only the Marantz NR1510 is compatible with audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, and DTS Virtual: X. Both receivers are equipped with an integrated HEOS system. In the Denon AVR-S650H, besides wired connectivity, HEOS is also used to create multi-room environments.

During the test, it became clear to me that the AVR-S650H has a more responsive bass. The receiver gives them incredible depth. In addition, Denon’s quality efforts in selecting converters directly affect the clarity of the sound image and especially the stereo space.

Marantz NR1510 photo

Marantz is also keeping up with its competitor, and I have heard a good level of detail and emphasis on high-/mid-frequencies. The sound is warm and very similar to that of stereo amplifiers but remains limited in power.

In terms of surround sound, the Marantz NR1510 outperforms the Denon AVR-S650H. Sound effects moved distinctly from one speaker to another. I heard clear dialogues. And I also want to point out the accuracy of the level of detail, which gives the impression of being sound immersed in the movie.

And since we compared two somewhat different receivers, I can confidently say that the Marantz NR1510 is perfect for creating an entry-level home theater. The Denon AVR-S650H, on the other hand, is better suited for bringing an audio system home, as it can handle two zones and handles music from any source well.

Marantz NR1510 Denon AVR-S650H
Channels 5.2 5.2
Power output 50W/8 Ohm, 60W/6 Ohm 75W/8 Ohm, 100W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 6/1 (4K/60Hz pass-through) 5/1 (4K/60Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions 4K/60Hz pass-through in standby mode 4K/60Hz pass-through in standby mode
Multi-room zones no 2
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDCP2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora
Surround sound DTS HD Master, Dolby TrueHD DTS HD Master, Dolby TrueHD

Denon AVR-S650H pros & cons

  • Dynamic, ample, and precise stereophonic space.
  • Compatible with Denon’s HEOS ecosystem.
  • A little limited analog connectivity.

Marantz NR1510 pros & cons

  • Detailed and warm in the home theater.
  • Alexa, Google and Siri voice commands, and HEOS compatibility.
  • Not sufficiently dynamic for large rooms.
Here you can check the best cheap receiver.

Stereo Marantz and Denon Receivers Comparison

Marantz NR1200 vs Denon DRA-800H

Marantz NR1200 vs Denon DRA-800H comparison

Finally, a comparison of Marantz NR1200 vs Denon DRA-800H. In terms of their configuration, they differ little. This mainly affects the Denon vs Marantz amplifying unit. The Marantz NR1200 delivers 75W/8 Ohm per channel, while the Denon DRA-800H delivers 100W/8 Ohm.

Marantz NR1200 photo

Immediately, I say that in terms of connectivity, the compared receivers are identical. Both receivers also incorporate all the connections to make it a true Hi-Fi stereo receiver. Thus, 4 RCA inputs, a phono input compatible with MM cartridges in Denon, and 6 RCA inputs in Marantz.

Moreover, each of the receivers has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HEOS, AirPlay 2, as well as the ability to control the receivers using voice assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri).

Denon DRA-800H photo

I noticed tangible differences when I started testing receivers. In the music test, the Marantz NR1200 was doing well with displaying each frequency register. In addition, the stage is wide and very dynamic. Finally, the vocals are natural. However, Denon plays in a completely different way. The sound is smooth. The bass hits hard. Despite the lack of an EQ mode designed to play the song, vocals stand out fairly easily from the background sound, but not quite as well as the competitor.

To summarize, I can say that these receivers are the initial solution for centralizing all the audio and video sources in the living room. However, if you are into music, then your better choice is the Marantz NR1200. Its sound still seems more lively compared to the Denon.

Marantz NR1200 Denon DRA-800H
Channels 2.0 2.0
Power output 75W/8 Ohm 100W/8 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 5/1 0/0
Phono Input yes yes
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora

Marantz NR1200 pros & cons

  • Compact body.
  • Easy to customize.
  • Lack of a calibration system.

Denon DRA-800 pros & cons

  • Precise bass in movies.
  • Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay 2.
  • Lack of Bluetooth support for aptX.

Explore other our AV receivers comparisons and ratings

Related articles

If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

About Frederick Douglass
Want to read more like this?